In Dante Veritas, Vasily Klyukin

In Dante Veritas is a large scale, immersive multimedia exhibition by Russian sculptor Vasily Klyukin. It represents a narrative that recreates the nine circles of hell, and includes over 100 multimedia elements, such as sculpture, installation, digital art, audio and light boxes. The exhibitions includes sculptural works, most of which represent negative human traits such as Anger, Gluttony and Betrayal.

“The most prominent sculptural pieces are the Four Horsemen of the Modern Apocalypse. The artist has translated the traditional Horsemen (plague, war, hunger and death) into a modern day version: Overpopulation, Misinformation, Extermination and Pollution.

[. . .]

“The immersive exhibition encourages visitors to examine the sculptures with an audio guide narrated in the style of Dante’s poems. The sculptures of human sins also portray the punishment that comes with the sin. For instance, Gluttony is incredibly obese and Temptation has no limbs.

“The exhibition also includes a ‘prison’ room, further embodying the topic of sin. Famous criminals such as Stalin, Pablo Escobar and Bokassa are imprisoned here. The prison has a dungeon room – Betrayal – which represents Hell. Visitors are encouraged to leave notes on the wall, allowing them to name people who have betrayed them, or to write a message of forgiveness.

“The exhibition ends on a positive note. The Heart of Hope is a large sculpture of a heart at the centre of the exhibition, which was also displayed at the Burning Man festival in 2017. It symbolises the ability to stop all the negative traits and sins. Visitors are given a bracelet which transmits a signal to the statue, which then beats in the rhythm of the bracelet wearer’s heartbeat.”    —Elucid Magazine

“Hell in a Handbasket” (1988) – Star Trek

 

“The crew must fight off hellish hallucinations as the Enterprise transforms into a Divine Comedy.”    –“Hell in a Handbasket,” Memory Alpha, December 6, 2019

Enjoy “Hell in a Handbasket” on YouTube here, courtesy of StarTrekComics.

“Dante nell’Inferno di Fukushima: Lorenzo Amato intervista Kazumasa Chiba”

On January 22, 2020, the journal Insula europea published Lorenzo Amato’s interview with Japanese visual artist Kazumasa Chiba, who, over the last twenty years, has dedicated his art to translating scenes from the Commedia into contemporary political and moral commentary. “Come su un palcoscenico teatrale,” writes Amato, “Chiba si ‘traveste’ da Dante e si muove in grandi paesaggi allegorici costruiti su elementi culturali ibridi, che derivano dal sincretismo di cultura popolare giapponese e tradizioni classiche occidentali e orientali, antiche e moderne.” In 2012 he was awarded the Toshiko Okamoto Award for his work that interprets the Fukushima earthquake and subsequent nuclear disaster as an Inferno in the manner of Dante.

Here’s a brief extract from Amato’s interview with Chiba:

“Dante nomina in modo molto chiaro le persone famose che secondo lui sono colpevoli di qualcosa, anche se sono ancora vive. Diciamo che questo tipo di poesia mi ha mostrato una possibile strada per affrontare con l’arte i problemi del mondo, e quindi anche sfogare la rabbia che a volte provo nei confronti di certe persone, politici o responsabili di avvenimenti importanti, come tutte le persone coinvolte nel disastro di Fukushima. Ogni volta che succedono disastri, o che vengono fatte scelte a livello politico che poi provocano conseguenze negative, provo una forte rabbia. È raro che le persone comuni possano avere un qualche impatto su quelle scelte, e a volte mi verrebbe voglia di mostrare il mio dissenso in forma di protesta anche violenta. In questo senso l’arte è un modo per sfogare questa rabbia, ma anche per lasciare un segno, ovvero per mostrare quello che penso.” — Kazumasa Chiba, in an interview with Lorenzo Amato, Insula europea, January 22, 2020

An exhibit of Chiba’s work, called “A Modern Interpretation of Dante’s Divine Comedy,” was shown at the Mizuma Art Gallery in Tokyo from August 21 to September 21, 2019.

Dante’s Inferno Inspired Coffee Mug

A wide-bottomed coffee mug that will keep your beverage infernally hot.

Check out this mug for sale on Wayfair here.

A Net-a-Porter Shoe Capsule Inspired by Dante

“Rosh Mahtani, of fashionista-favorite jewelry line Alighieri, has launched her second footwear capsule with Net-a-Porter this week, plus additional shoes exclusively available on her e-commerce site.

[. . .]

Mahtani’s jewelry line takes its name from iconic 13th-century Florentine poet Dante Alighieri, and all the pieces recall cantos within his famous Divine Comedy. And just as many aspects of the Comedy were allegories for the political upheaval of the time, the same could be said of Mahtani’s pieces and today’s tumult.

Her Net-a-Porter Fragment shoe, with its metal mosaic detailing, was inspired by Dante’s notion of ‘a broken world,’ she said, observing that the idea was certainly ‘very pertinent.’ It was about ‘finding beauty in fragments,’ she added, ‘rebuilding them and maybe creating something even more beautiful than before.'”    — Stephanie Hirschmiller, Footwear News, October 23, 2019

Read the Alighieri jewelry line entry on Dante Today here.

33 violins and a cello in honor of Dante

Leonardo Frigo is producing 33 violins, each with an illustration of 33 canti of Inferno (Cantos 2-34) , and a cello with Inf. 1, in honor of the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death in 2021.    –Alessandro Allocca, La Repubblica, Jan. 20, 2020

Contributed by Alessandra Mazzocchi (Florida State University, ‘MA 2019)

Dante’s Kebab

“Best place in Hell.”  —Martin Skauen

Dante the Magician

“With Dante’s death, what historically has been known as the ‘Golden Age of Magic’ came to an end. Gone were the variety theaters of the world, and with it were the large traveling magic productions that had thrilled and mystified millions for generations.”    –“Harry August Jansen,” Wikipedia, 21 September 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2020.

Learn more about Dante, the “King of Magicians,” here.

Smokin’ Guns Hell

“4th Circle – Motiveless Kickers: Condemned to obsessively kick each other.

[. . .]

9th Circle – Wallhackers: Condemned to play against invisible opponents, and completely surrounded by fog.”    –Biondo, Lame Clan, June 19, 2011

Learn more about the first-person shooter video game, Smokin’ Guns, here.

“Brakhage: When Light Meets Life”

“His mission, which he pursued with a zealous intensity, was to liberate the eye from such ‘prescribed’ ways of seeing. The insect wings, twigs, and fragments of flowers and leaves that he applied directly to strips of 16mm film in Mothlight (1963) and 35mm in The Garden of Earthly Delights (1981); the streaks and globs of paint that seem to shine with an inner illumination in films like The Dante Quartet (1987); the arcs of light that bend around the underwater surfaces of Boulder Creek in Commingled Containers (1996): Brakhage’s films train you to look at the world as if it were—as he wrote in the first paragraph of his 1963 book Metaphors on Vision—’alive with incomprehensible objects and shimmering with an endless variety of movement.’

[. . .]

“In these cases, figurative footage occasionally still appeared in odd and unexpected settings—one section of The Dante Quartet was painted over what Brakhage identified as ‘a worn-out 70mm print of Irma la Douce.'”    –Max Nelson, The New York Review of Books, June 8, 2017

Still from Brakhage’s film The Dante Quartet, 1987